Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The little lady…



Once when I returned home from a frenzied day at college, I entered my bedroom to find a very beautiful thing perched in one corner of my room on my bed. It was a little girl of four – my neighbor, Ira. She looked up at me and gave me a beautiful smile…

I have been around kids a lot and I’ve always loved playing with them…but somehow over the years I realized that they tend to fly away - like little birds do, as soon as they think they are old enough…

Hence, I tried to let myself not get affected by the charm of the young lady’s smile. There was a lot of homework to be done, I reminded myself...

So, I just smiled back and said hello…I asked her who she was and she told me. ‘I am Ira, your new neighbor’. I said, ‘Oh, I see…’ When did you shift here?’ To this question, she looked shocked and said, ‘Don’t you knowwwww???? We shifted a week back’.

I smiled and said I wasn’t around when they shifted. I told her that I had seen their house and it had been beautifully decorated and it looked very nice. ‘Thank you…My Amma and Baba did it’, she twittered. After our short conversation, I was still wondering what she was doing in my room on the Wednesday evening. Nevertheless, I opened a book and started reading – or was I really reading? It was just to coax myself so that I don’t get too close to the little kid.

Finally, when I really managed to get started with my reading, I was engrossed in reading the book when I heard the sweetest little voice ask me, ‘Namrata-Didi can you play with meeee?????’ I looked up and said, ‘I am studying, Ira…Can we please play later?’ To which she said, ‘Pleeeeeeeeeease??’ Such was the sweetness in the way she said those few words that I cannot reproduce it, nor can I describe it here no matter what words I use!

But since that day onwards, there’s been no stopping…She’s been one of my best friends… Adorable to the core. A ‘Pleeeeeeeease?’ from her can make me do anything for her. I never knew someone could be so immensely persuasive…Once she realized that, she’d always give me a charming smile and say, ‘Pleeeeeeease?’ And I’d stop doing whatever I was doing to do whatever she wanted me to!!

The little lady has made me play millions of games like Hide-n-seek, Paper-Scissor-Rock, blah-blah-blah and - Twister!!!!! Imagine an adult of twenty standing on a piece of large paper with her left foot on one side of it, right foot on the other, and right hand, too, on the same piece of paper right behind the left foot and trying very hard to keep her left hand where the little girl was asking her to keep on the same piece of paper!!

I still remember the way she would come running to my house and yell through the window, ‘Namrata-Didi! Open the dooooooor. It’s me, Ira.’ Later, when she grew up a little she’d jump up and ring the bell!

Once she was wearing a nice little outfit and I asked her where she got it from. She told me, ‘My daddy got it for me. You liked it?’ I said yes. She said, ‘Don’t worry, I will tell my daddy to get the saaaaaaaaaaaame dress for you too!’ I looked at the tiny outfit and smiled…

On another occasion, it was her birthday and I bought her one extra-large bar of chocolate and a smaller one. She took them both and thanked me gleefully…Then she looked at her best friend, a little girl like her and her smile disappeared. Then suddenly she extended her hand with the large bar of chocolate towards her friend and gave it away!! Her smile returned thereafter! My jaw dropped open, quite literally, at her selflessness! The smart little friend of hers said her thanks and scampered home to keep her new gift away safely, lest Ira changes her mind! But I knew she wouldn’t do so.

It’s been almost four years since I know her and my little birdie is still the same! To this day, whenever I return back home for holidays and see her, she comes running to give me a hug!  It’s great to see the excitement in her eyes and hear the question I always expect to pop up in a few minutes, ‘Namrata-Didi, Can you play with meeeeeeee? Pleeeeeeeeease???’